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    Cooper buys Orbost gas plant from APA

Summary

The Orbost plant processes gas from Cooper’s Sole gas field offshore Victoria for supply to customers in south-east Australia.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions, Exploration & Production, Financials, News By Country, Australia

Cooper buys Orbost gas plant from APA

Cooper Energy has entered into a binding agreement to acquire the Orbost gas processing plant from energy infrastructure business APA Group for between A$270-330mn ($188-230mn), it said on June 20. The Orbost plant processes gas from Cooper’s Sole gas field offshore Victoria for supply to customers in southeast Australia.

According to the deal, Cooper has to make a fixed payment of A$210mn at the financial close of the acquisition while a fixed deferred payment of A$40mn is due 12 months after the close. A fixed deferred payment of A$20mn is due 24 months after financial close and a variable deferred performance payment ranging from A$0-20mn is due in 24 months. A variable deferred performance payment ranging from A$0-40mn is due 36 months after financial close, Cooper said.

Cooper will also undertake a fully underwritten A$244mn equity offering comprising an A$84mn placement to institutional investors and an entitlement offer to raise a total of A$160mn. Additionally, Cooper has announced a new, fully underwritten $400mn revolving corporate debt facility and A$20mn working capital facility which will refinance the existing syndicated debt facility, conditional on completion of the acquisition. The financial close of the new debt facility is expected by July 31.

Following the acquisition, Cooper will operate three gas fields and two gas plants supplying domestic gas into the southeast Australia gas market.

“Cooper Energy’s acquisition of the Orbost gas processing plant is transformative for the company. It accelerates our strategic position in the Gippsland basin and strengthens our end-to-end capability to produce, process and deliver gas to our high-quality domestic customers and the spot market," David Maxwell, Cooper Energy’s managing director, said.

"The acquisition represents the next step in Cooper Energy’s twin gas supply hub position and is underpinned by attractive market dynamics through the tightening southeast Australia gas supply," he added.

APA acquired the plant in 2017 from Cooper and commenced a redevelopment programme in preparation for processing Sole gas. The plant has demonstrated an ability to deliver processing at average rates of around 55 terajoules/day following recent upgrade works undertaken during March and April 2022. Cooper said it is focused on further improving plant performance.